LG H10N & 4167B burner incompatibilites with CMC MAG E01 media?

hi there

just wondering if anybody has a comment or similar experience

I’ve had several ‘family members’ of these LG combo drives (primarily I first bought into them because I have a Panasonic standalong DVD-RAM recorder, from which I wanted to copy recorded TV shows) - I am currently using a 4167B and an H10N (brand new)

about 2 years ago I bought a Dell Inspiron 9200 which comes with an NEC 6500A DVD writer as standard - as I was about to go away on vacation 2 months ago, I wanted to copy some DVD+R burns I’d done on my desktop LG-drive system

I noticed that some of my previous burns would fail with read errors halfway through trying to read them on my laptop’s NEC drive - I later discovered that this primarily seemed to be a symptom of using the CMC-MAG-E01 media from a common Memorex spindle

is this going to be a typical problem between drive manufacturers’ equipment?
I am now concerned that any backup I’ve done in the past may one day be unreadable by my equipment as I eventually and inevitably move to a different DVD reader/writer

the symptoms are these

  • all the discs I use are Memorex CMC-MAG-E01 (8x I think) DVD+R
  • the ‘faulty’ LG-burnt discs were all created with Nero7 at 4x (I decided a while back not to use the max disc rating to ensure a lower error rate) - all created with DVD-ROM bitset
  • the ‘faulty’ LG-burnt discs are sometimes problematic to read even between other LG drives
  • the ‘faulty’ LG-burnt discs sometimes don’t even show up as being loaded on the NEC
  • the DVD-VIDEO discs (as far as I’ve tested) always seem to play OK on my Sony standalone DVD player
  • if I reverse the situation and burn at 4x with Nero7 FROM my laptop with the NEC, the discs have (so far) ALWAYS been error-free for reading on an LG drive

from this I am assuming

the discs are not faulty - there MUST be some kind of problem with the entire LG family’s ‘write strategy’ at this speed (4x) for this manufacturer (CMC MAG E01)

is it worth trying a different speed for burning from the LG writer with these discs? if so, would slower be safer (2x? 1x??) - for what it’s worth, is burning slower always going to give me a burn-quality improvement (between platforms)?

perhaps if I’m lucky, I’ll never see this manufacturer ID again, OR LG will update their firmware?? - I don’t look forward to the prospect of having to test every single disc I burn in future on a range of platforms just to find out if my ‘saved data’ is intact in any kind of standard format for future retrieval…!!!

Burning at lower than the rated speed to increase quality is just a myth…

It has actually been found that burning under the rated speed might make the quality worse!

If you want to have peace of mind then only buy media that is made by Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim (avoiding their “pearl white” range).


who’d-a-thunk there’d be so much variability and confusion in making a perfect digital backup copy… I can’t wait for the fragility of the next-gen HD-DVD and Blu-Ray!!!

I’ll probably try some full-speed (8x) burns with the LGs - just to see if there’s an improvement

My 4167B burns CMC MAG E01 discs with very good quality @ 8x :

As you can see, firmware support for this media code on the 4167B is excellent. I have never had problems reading these discs on any drives or DVD players at all. You should not be having these problems. What version of firmware is your 4167B currently using?

Do note that the CMC MAG E01 discs I use are TDK 8x DVD+R.

I’m using the latest tdb rpc1 fw (DL13 w/ RPC1 and riplock patches) on the 4167B
similarly, my H10N is tdb-patched
(I watch a lot of out-of-region discs, so I don’t want to be shackled to region 1 all the time!)

as I said, I’ll try again at 8x and see if there’s an improvement

I notice from this page

that an “NEC Case Study” showed NEC burners for some obscure reason, performed much better with CMC DVD+R media…

thanks for the continuing feedback
out of interest karangguni, what FW version are you using on your 4167B

I’d take the information on that page with a large pinch of salt. The author has a known bias against CMC media and is convinced that CMC media is of low quality in general. Some of the information on the page is also out of date. See the media section where he rates PVC (Pioneer) media as 1st class, despite the fact that Pioneer stopped producing media long ago.

He doesn’t back up his claims of burn quality with CMC media using any sort of scans either, so there is no way to compare results.

While I don’t have an NEC writer, I would rather trust the test results from drive reviews. The local reviews show pretty good burn quality with CMC media on LG writers (especially recent ones).

DJ13. I have used DL13 before and got the same kind of results with the same media.

You can get good results with that kind of media, however, it’s questionable how fast they’ll degrade…
I would advice to buy better media instead.

well last night I ran a few tests with DVDInfoPro and CD-DVD Speed

first things first - the H10N burn at 4x was totally unreadable on the NEC 6500A… period
I guess there’s something badly wrong with the 4x write strategy on the H10N for this CMC MAG E01 8x media
(the disc spins up and down, then the drive just shows up in WinXP Explorer as “CD-Drive”)
I guess I’ll always be burning at 8x from now on (for 8x and above media), just in case
btw, is it true that 8x is a good setting for 16x media as well? I’ve also read that 16x burns can be dubious, so it’s only worth doing at 8x or 12x max…???

now to the good news

had quite a few read errors still on the 8x burns of either LG when using the NEC
looked again at the FW releases for the NEC and noticed I was using Liggy’s 2.24 6500FW - I switched over to the tdb 6500 FW (riplock, rpc1) based on the DELL 203D OEM release (since it’s in an Inspiron 9200 laptop…) and found that the discs read through without the read problems - obviously there’s something in the DELL OEM release that affects read quality for this particular 6500 drive variant (anybody know anything about this??)

only one other comment for now:-
on the read tests on the NEC drive, even though the read succeeded, there were noticeable periods in the last 15% or so of the test (i.e. I assume towards the outer edge of the disc) where read speeds fluctuated quite a bit 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x and all points in between - is this normal - does this not indicate the prevelence of some kind of data errors forcing a slowdown/re-read cycle?

once again, thanks for all your comments and replies

I do periodic quailty scans of my discs and compare them with previous ones to see if any degradation has taken place. These TDK 8x DVD+R discs have shown zero degradation over 1 1/2 years, despite being stored in tropical conditions. I am also not the only person to observe this with this media code.

I do wish to point out though, that there are various grades of CMC media and some brands use really low grade stuff. TDK however, seems to get some of the highest grade CMC media. I really do not trust Memorex. There are also cases of bad batches. I have two different cake boxes of CMC MAG. AE1 (CMC 8x DVD-R). One is Imation branded, and the other is unbranded. The Imation ones burn with very good quality on my LG GSA-4163B. The unbranded ones will either crash midway during burning with a hardware tracking error, or else will burn but can’t be read back. I tried using 3 other different writers and all gave the same results. These unbranded discs all have an obvious different coloured line around about 1/3 way through the disc after burning - the very part where writing or read back errors occur. That is an obvious sign the discs are defective.

Ignore that bit. Windows has a habit of showing DVD drives as “CD-Drive” because of the fact that it uses the same drivers for both CD and DVD drives. So it treats them as the same thing and sometimes labels it the same way as well. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong but is just a silly bug.

The general consensus in the blank media section of this forumis that 12x is about the best speed for 16x media but some of the newer writers burn 16x media with excellent quality at 16x. Your H10N fits that category of writers, according to the burn quality shown in drive reviews and scans posted by other members here. Of course, if you use crappy media, don’t expect good quality at 16x. Do note also, that some 16x discs actually burn with worse quality below 12x than at 12x and above.

I’d also advise you to avoid Memorex. Apart from the fact that they switch manufacturers around quite a bit (so you cannot tell what you are getting each time you buy), their discs aren’t exactly the best grade of stuff either.

Yes, the drive had some sort of difficulty reading the end of the disc and had to slow down. That is a sign something isn’t quite right with the end of the disc. Examine the recording side near the outer edge and look for defects/dirt/dust/chips etc. That could be the cause. It’s also possible that discs just aren’t very good stuff and are a bit defective at the edges. As I mentioned, Memorex isn’t exactly known for selling quality media.

thanks again karangguni,

I’m going to post my NEC CD-DVD Speed test results (Benchmark) later on to see if you can see anything obviously out of whack

I’m curious to see if these read “slow-downs” at the outer edges occur on the LG drives too, or just on the NEC drive reading LG-burns…

if it turns out these speed fluctuations only occur on LG-burnt discs, doesn’t that still imply something wrong with the write strategy of the LGs for this particular media (or even this particular batch of media…???)


ps - will have to try and find a cheap and plentiful regular supplier of TY +R discs up here in Canada eh!! anybody know where to get cheap and high qual TY DVD+R discs up here in the great white north??

btw, when I said the unreadable H10N 4x burnt disc shows up on the NEC-disk-based laptop as CD-Drive - I meant it was totally un-nagivable from within Windows Explorer - it showed me no filesystem and kept insisting I “insert a disc into drive E:”

PowerDVD could play some of the video in its “Disc Mode”, but towards the end of the film, the picture would just break-up and freeze

Yes, that behaviour is a feature (normal people would call it a bug) in explorer…

thanks Chef,

the thing is that this ‘feature’ only happens with this (H10N 4X CMC MAG E01) disc, so I can’t see how this is Explorer’s fault? if this is a bug in Explorer, it is a very selective one?!

I mean sure, the incorrect labelling of the drive as “CD Drive” could be called a “bug”, but isn’t it the case that the fact no filesystem is present a problem with the disc itself… this doesn’t happen with this disc on my LG drives

is there a freeware equivalent of something like IsoBuster that will allow examination of such a corrupt disc to see what is and isn’t recoverable… there’s obviously valid and readable data on the disc if PowerDVD can play the beginning chapters without a problem. Whatever it’s doing in its “Disc Mode” must be do-able by other software to obtain the data - are there such utilities?

edit - err, looking at the IsoBuster website, it appears part of it is freeware and part shareware - are the free parts fully featured enough to examine/retrieve data from burnt DVD+R video disc media on XP?

Maybe, but why then does it work well with the discs I use? One thing about LG writers is that they do not like media which is of slightly lower grade and they don’t handle them well. I don’t mean defective media, but rather a lower grade version of a certain media code. Could be those Memorex discs are a lower grade of CMC MAG E01 and the LG doesn’t like that but your NEC can handle them.

If you can shop online, I believe the good people in the blank media forum usually recommend this website :


the real puzzle to me at the moment is how a burn on the LG with this media is readable with no discernable quality issues on either LG (I mean smooth as silk), but gives all this grief on the NEC

karangguni - you ask why it works well with the discs you use - well, it works well (very well) for me too on the LG with these discs - the problem only arises when going over to the laptop and trying to scan/read the discs! - I wonder if there’s anybody else on the forum with both an LG 4167B/H10N AND an NEC 6500A that could confirm this behaviour with CMC-MAG-E01 discs (it is rather a big hope!)

yet burn the same media on the NEC, and it can be read without issue on BOTH NEC and LG

does this mean the NEC is just a lot more fussy…

fyi, last night I used the NEC 6500A to scan a slightly older 4X burn from the 4167B on a different Memorex brand DVD+R (an Indian mfr, I forget the exact media ID here, MBIPG101 R4 I think) and the Benchmark read-speed scan from CD-DVD Speed was flawless…

I just wished I had a Lite-On or similar so I could do a real Quality scan… (PIE/PIF, etc)

Well, you can’t do quality scans but you can still do a scandisc test wth Nero CD Speed on both the NEC and the two LG writers. It sorts of tells you if the drive in question has a problem reading those discs and at which part.

Have you tried a burn at 8x with those CMC MAG E01 Memorex discs yet?

here is the error condition I’m describing

these 2 graphs show the CD-DVD speed Benchmark results for the same media (CMC MAG E01) burnt at 8X on the same LG 4167B drive (FW rev DL13) on my desktop PC

first, the chart as read on the LG H10N on my desktop:-

now, the chart as read by the NEC 6500A on my laptop:-

as you can see, the NEC read rate falls to pieces towards the end of the scan… :frowning:

just as an interesting side-note
here’s a scan made by the 6500A of a CMC MAG E01 disc burnt by itself
(albeit at 4X)

Different drive & media -> different results.
We have to live with that. :wink:

m$ included that burnsupport in their Vista -> surely they’ll not add it to earlier OS’…

hmm, hopefully, I don’t end up buying the standalone DVD player that one day doesn’t like my backups?! - I guess the only way to mitigate this is to buy HQ media like TY??

what’s “burnsupport” ?